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Discouraging remarks made about bassists in some guitar magazine and Bass Player

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JWC, Jan 9, 2001.

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  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    I was looking at one of the new guitar magazines this month (I don't remember which one, there are so many MORE of them than there are bass mags). Steve Morse was giving advice to guitarists and one of the suggestions was for the guitar player to learn the bass lines so that he can help the bassist out. Uh....excuse me, but we bassists are not a bunch of second rate musicians. We can learn our own damn lines without the help of a guitar player. You don't hear Tony Levin telling us to learn the guitar parts so we can help them out. Get off your high horese Steve, even though we went to the same high school and both had Ms. Samuels for math....she used to tell us youngans about you and your long hair back then!!

    And some jackass wrote a letter to the editor in Bass Player that was defending keeping a certain feauture that was possibly going to be removed. It read, we need features like that to help us give the band leaders the bass lines that they want. I don't give a damn what the so called band leader wants. In bands I play in, there is no leader. Only team players. If these so called band leaders want basslines, let them pick up the damn bass themself.

  2. JWC,
    I seriously doubt Steve Morse meant those comments as a dig at bass players. He's played with two of the finest bass players on the planet.. Dave LaRue and Andy West.. so I'm sure he has great respect for bassists.
    And as far as learning the lines that band leaders want you to play, that guy was talking about situations where you are hired. You and I are playing in rock bands, so we have freedom to pretty much play what we want. But if you're ever hired for a gig, and the guy who's paying you wants you to play a certain line, you better play it if you want to keep the job.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...Morse also played with Jerry Peek, a damn good player outta NC(who used to be in a late '70s band called 3PM).
    Check out THE INTRODUCTION(Morse's 1st solo outing).
  4. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    I know this is off topic, but Andy West was my best friend's dad's neighbor in high school. Andy taught him the bass believe it or not. Also, he used to hang out at Steve's garage too. See, most of the Dregs are from my hometown even though they formed in Fla. I live in GA.
  5. I'm 100% certain Steve didn't mean that in any disparaging manner. I've studied with Dave LaRue for many years, off and on, and trust me, NO ONE is teaching him much of anything. Also, having had the pleasure of speaking directly with Steve several times, he's the most "no-attitude" dude I've ever met, zero ego about his abilities (which are imposing, to say the least :eek: ).

    I think he just meant in situations where you've got pick up players or new band members, knowing the basslines will make it quicker to teach the tunes to the new guy, not that he can't learn it on his own. There is also the added benefit to guitarists of just knowing the basslines, something that most guitarists should do, helps to understand how the tune works.

    And as to knowing the right lines for certain gigs, Dave Siff is dead on - on a lot of gigs I've done, knowing the line note-for-note in most tunes was mandatory. Thankfully now that isn't such a problem :D.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i know that if i were writing an article for bass player (if i had a reason to :D), i would give similar advice to bassists - "learn the guitar player's _AND the drummer's parts, to help them realize your ideas."

    all the musicians in a band benefit when one of the band members learns about the other instruments in the band, regardless of which instrument.
  7. In Morse's defense, let's remember something...

    Although the people who visit these boards are committed bass players and competent musicians, they are plenty of rock bands out there filled with bassists who are either 1) guitarists who lost a "solo duel" (three guitarists in a group try to outsolo one another. The guy who wins becomes the lead guitarist. The guy in second plays rhythm guitar. The guy in third buys a bass) or 2) what I call the "Stu Sutcliffe" type--friends of guitarists who want to hang out and pick up girls, never venturing beyond root/five play.

    Many guitarsits I've played with have generally made the same remark about me: "wow...a bassist who actually wants to play bass." This is usually followed by horror stories about old "bassists."
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Speaking from the standpoint of a long-time Morse/Dregs fan...if I were in the bass chair in any of those projects, I'd be pretty damn happy to let Steve show me some of those lines. For those not familiar with that stuff, there are tons and tons of complicated bass/guitar unison runs embedded within each extremely complicated tune. Morse writes them, so Morse teaches them (or demonstrates). I've got a pretty good ear, and working those tunes out by ear is a big, hairy Motherf***er!
  9. If you wan't it written in stone put it on paper and I don't mean Bass Player.
  10. Mr. Childree above has nailed it. The leader (uh, that would be the guy who's writing the *check* to *you*, the *sideman*) calls the shots. He says "jump"; I say "how high?".

    As a leader/composer, I've showed my bandmates plenty of guitar licks, some keyboard passages, and a few drum parts. I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn't do myself--a no-brainer, IMO--meaning, as a sideman, I am *grateful* for musical direction. It's part of being a professional.
  11. You really needed to dig up a 5.5 year old thread to say that?

    But you're right. :)
  12. +1

  13. <<You really needed to dig up a 5.5 year old thread to say that?

    But you're right.>>

    In 5.5 year terms, I'm a newbie for sure. In terms of this thread, I was there before the beginning. Hint: web search

    Now go do your homework.

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